Student Input Makes Expanded Campus Union “Uniquely UF”
In response to a student-led campaign for the renovation and expansion of their campus union to address a growing population and aging infrastructure, the University of Florida (UF) partnered with us to create a sustainable, functional space that meets student needs and incorporates strong elements of the university’s brand identity into its design. Influenced heavily by input from UF scholars and leadership, the addition includes meeting rooms, lounges, dance rehearsal studios, a ballroom, and office space for several departments, clubs and organizations.
The renovation focuses on the restoration of exterior surfaces and structural components, replacement and upgrade of electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, and upgrades to interior finishes and lighting. To align with the university’s commitment to a carbon-neutral campus by 2025, the plan includes a rigorous recycling program, high-efficiency fluorescent lighting, low-flow fixtures, high-efficiency equipment, rapidly renewable sourced supplies and a green housekeeping program. In a nod to UF’s beloved mascot, the American Alligator, the new structure incorporates design elements inspired by the patterns, colors and textures of the gator’s scales, tail and underbelly — making the Reitz Student Union “uniquely UF.”
CannonDesign involved thousands of students and hundreds of staff to ensure their thoughts and opinions were reflected at various stages of the design.
– Norbert Dunkel, Assistant Vice President and Director of Housing and Residence Education, University of Florida